September 20th, 2012


City may sue developer who spent $20,000 to remove 40 tons of trash from vacant lot

A business developer in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Point Breeze is facing legal action after voluntarily cleaning up more than 40 tons of trash from a vacant lot neighboring his local business.

As the old adage goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Ori Feibush says he visited the local offices of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority four times, sent in seven written requests and made 24 phone calls to the agency asking them to take care of a major eyesore: an empty lot next to his coffee shop was home to more than 40 tons of debris.

Not only did the agency fail to act but it also denied Feibush's offer to clean up the mess himself.

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Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Obama Crashes Iowa Wedding, Leaves Note and Gift

On one of President Obama's trips to the metro earlier this month, he nearly crashed a young couple's wedding. But the bride and groom got a little something to make the situation easier to bear.

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OP: Fluff news piece is nothing but fluff, I know, but I can't help but be struck by the contrast between the simplicity of this gesture and Romney's varied failed attempts to appear human personable and relatable.
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx
  • tabaqui

Trump's Anti-Wind Ad Gets Trumped by UK Advertising Standards Authority

The Trump Organization and Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS) had a bit of a setback in their anti-wind campaigns this week, as one of their ads was banned from publication in the UK by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad campaign featured an image of rusty and neglected-looking wind turbines below the headline "Welcome to Scotland", and featured the text, "Alex Salmond wants to build 8,750 of these monstrosities - think about it." below it, along with information on a rally that CATS is hosting.

The problem is, those dilapidated wind turbines aren't anywhere near Scotland - they're from a wind power site in Hawaii that was decommissioned after 20 years of service. For astute readers, there is a small disclaimer on the bottom of the ad which says "Photo not taken in Scotland" in tiny text (easy to miss at a casual glance, what with the word TRUMP written across the bottom in large text).

And then there's the claim of the 8,750 wind turbines that the ad says are going to be built. The exaggerated claim for the number of renewable energy "monstrosities" came from some fancy number-shuffling from CATS, and misleads readers to think that those figures are from official government statements.

Thanks to the quick thinking of Scottish Renewables, the ASA investigated the offending ad and found that it breached their code by being misleading and lacking substantiation. The decision of the ASA about the Trump Group and CATS ads:

"The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Trump and CATS to ensure that the pictures they used in future ads reflected the types of turbines likely to be used in Scotland, and not to exaggerate the number of turbines likely to be installed or the possible consequences of the Scottish Government's plans to use wind turbines." - ASA

Source: The ad in question is pictured at the source.

So this is the first salvo in Trumps anti-wind farm campaign to save Scotland? Fail, Mr. Trump.

GOP Already Practicing Finger Pointing for 2012 Blame Games.

Senate Forecast: What Has Gone Wrong for G.O.P. Candidates?

The trend in the presidential race has been difficult to discern lately. President Obama has very probably gained ground since the conventions, but it’s hard to say exactly how much, and how quickly his bounce is eroding.

There are no such ambiguities in the race for control of the Senate, however. Polls show key races shifting decisively toward the Democrats, with the Republican position deteriorating almost by the day.

Since we published our initial Senate forecast on Tuesday, Republicans have seen an additional decline in their standing in two major races.

Two polls of Virginia published on Wednesday gave the Democrat, the former Gov. Tim Kaine, leads of 4 and 7 percentage points over the Republican, the former Senator George Allen. The FiveThirtyEight forecast model now gives Mr. Kaine roughly a 75 percent chance of winning the seat on the strength of the new polls, up from about 60 percent in Tuesday’s forecast.

The other problematic state for Republicans is Wisconsin, where their candidate, the former Gov. Tommy Thompson, had once appeared to hold the advantage.

Mr. Thompson’s Democratic opponent, Representative Tammy Baldwin, had published an internal poll earlier this week showing her pulling into the lead. The FiveThirtyEight Senate and presidential forecasts do not use internal polls released directly by the campaigns, as they typically exaggerate their candidate’s standing.

However, in this case, public polls have now confirmed that the race seems to have shifted. A poll by The New York Times, CBS News and Quinnipiac University showed Mrs. Baldwin having drawn into a tie with Mr. Thompson, after trailing him by 6 percentage points last month.

A Marquette University poll, also published on Wednesday, showed a much sharper reversal, with Mrs. Baldwin going from a 9-point deficit to a 9-point lead. The Marquette poll appears to be a bit of an outlier — it also had Mr. Obama leading in the presidential race in Wisconsin by a 14-point margin, a somewhat implausible figure. Nonetheless, the model now has Mrs. Baldwin as the slight favorite, with about a 60 percent chance of winning.

It would be only a modest exaggeration to say that it’s been hard to find any strong Senate polls for Republicans in the past two or three weeks. Wednesday also brought bad news for Republicans in Massachusetts, where a fourth consecutive poll showed the Democrat Elizabeth Warren ahead of Senator Scott Brown; in Connecticut, where a poll gave the Democrat Chris Murphy a slight advantage over their candidate, Linda McMahon; and in Florida, where a Fox News poll gave the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson a 14-point lead.

One exception has been in Maine, where two new polls on Wednesday showed a deterioration in the standing of the independent Angus King, who would probably caucus with the Democrats, at the expense of both the Republican, Secretary of State Charles Summers, and the Democrat, State Senator Cynthia Dill. The model now gives Mr. King an 84 percent chance of winning, Mr. Summers 11 percent, and Mrs. Dill 5 percent.

But this is small compensation for the decline over the past two weeks of the Republicans’ position in Virginia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio, all of which have broken sharply to the Democrats.

The Democrats’ chances of controlling the Senate have increased to 79 percent in the forecast, up from 70 percent on Tuesday.
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deelieboppers sharpened

Muslim Rage the twitter hashtag

Reaction to the Innocence of Muslims film and the violence it sparked has ranged from confusion and anger to the fear of possible reprisals against religious groups. And now, on Twitter, at least, humor has managed to coalesce around an unlikely hashtag: #muslimrage.

Inspired by the all-caps headline "MUSLIM RAGE" on this week's cover of Newsweek, irreverent tweeters who happen to be Muslim are giving a glimpse of what really ticks them off — or at least, what makes them irate enough to make a joke.

Here are a few examples:

  • "I'm having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage" — Hend (retweeted 2900 times).
  • Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can't yell for him. #MuslimRage — Leila (retweeted 1000 times).
  • "When you realize that if you have a 5 o'clock shadow it can be deemed a security threat." — Taufiq Rahim.
  • "#muslimrage when you order halal chicken and find out the chef cooked it in alcohol!" — Hassan Sultan.
  • "You go to a football watch party and all these is to eat is pepperoni pizza and beer battered chicken wings #MuslimRage" — Waliya.
  • "i dont feel any rage....does that mean i am not muslim?#someonegetmeadrink #MuslimRage " — Ramah Kudaimi.

The hashtag was meant to host a rather more serious discussion sparked by a Newsweek feature written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, describing "how she survived Muslim rage—and how we can end it."


But it seems there is no consensus on just what incites rage these days. People also submitted images to Twitter to make their points — or, actually, jokes — as you can see below:

More twitter exchanges at the source, along with, since it's NPR and moderated, halfway decent comments.   There was an audio interview a couple days back, probably either on All Things Considered or Fresh Air.    This also dovetails with another article I ran across the other day, re backfiring of promoted hashtags

Mods: is theredo we have a tag for the current anti-movie stuff in North Africa and the Middle East?  In my journal I've been calling it "Danish Cartoon Riots Mark II" 

Canadian conservative tries it

Motion-32 seeks to define when an unborn fetus becomes a human being, but it's totally "not about abortion"

Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth met with journalists Sept. 17, and told them his Motion 312 is not about abortion but whether Canada has lost its consensus on inalienable human rights and honest laws.

Woodworth said that at stake is whether Canada has lost a consensus that the dignity and worth of every human being must be recognized, that rights are inalienable rather than granted by the government, that rights cannot be taken away through laws that deny basic human rights to a class of people by dehumanizing them, and that laws must be honest.

Motion 312 would strike a parliamentary committee to examine the 400-year old definition of a human being in the Criminal Code’s homicide section concerning unborn children. For the purposes of the law, an unborn child is not a person with human rights until he or she leaves the birth canal. The committee would investigate whether this definition holds up in light of scientific evidence.
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If you want to contact your MP about this, a petition+form letter can be found HERE


I am disgusted that he's claiming this debate is harmless because it alone will not re-created federal abortion laws, as though he thinks we're so stupid and we'll believe the debate happens in a vacuum. I also think it's disturbing that people are acting like there are no limits on abortion here, when women in PEI cannot get an abortion in their province and have to pay to get it done somewhere else. Canadian conservatives rarely get called on their bullshit, so I wanted to spread some awareness of this.
pretty flowers

Well, that didn't take long ...

A Big Loophole? Chick-fil-A Is Already Raising Questionable Money

President Dan Cathy tweeted a photo this week from a Chick-fil-A backed fundraiser for a group described as antigay by the original investigation of the company's giving.

Although Chick-fil-A supposedly assured a Chicago alderman that it would stop donating to antigay groups, this week it held a fundraiser for one anyway.

The fast food chain promised in a letter to Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, reported by the Chicago Phoenix, that it would end giving to any groups with "political agendas," implying it had stopped a practice that had led to about $5 million for antigay groups. But there might be a loophole.

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The Gang
  • acmeeoy

An island of peace says no to war

Joe Tenyen reports on a group of South Korean activists standing up to the drive by the U.S. and South Korean governments to build a massive new naval base.

WE ARRIVED by bus and stopped in the small town of Gangjeong on Jeju Island off the Southern coast of South Korea. Not quite sure which way to go, we took a few steps to the right and were greeted by colorful peace signs adorning a brightly painted, white fence made of cinder blocks. We had a feeling we were in the right place. A few paces later, posters taped to the sides of buildings informed us that we were in the Peace Village.

Following a stop at a local house to ask for directions, the owner helped us locate a person we were looking for, and we were led to a small headquarters building. A house once sat on this plot of land, but after the property was donated to the group, the house was bulldozed and the new, very simple headquarters building was constructed.

It is now home to the group struggling for the survival of a small piece of coastline bordering Gangjeong, where the U.S. and South Korean governments are combining forces with the Korean megacorporation Samsung to demolish the sacred coastal rocks of the Gangjeong people, all to build a deep-water port that reportedly will have the capacity to house 20 warships, including nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, submarines and Aegis Missile Defense destroyers along with 7,000 naval personnel.

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absinthe, wormwood

US Embassy attacked in Yemen

As a mob of angry demonstrators descended on the heavily guarded United States Embassy in Sanaa, many observers seemed stunned into disbelief. The breach of the embassy itself was unthinkable. And the sheer anger displayed by the demonstrators, even according to many Yemenis, was chilling. But even if a video regarded as blasphemous prompted Thursday’s events, the factors at play involve much more than a movie.

Ostensibly, what sparked the siege on the embassy were statements by a number of religious leaders—amplified by social media and word of mouth—who condemned the film and called for protests. But while many in politically contentious Sanaa seemed eager to tie the protests to a prominent figure or faction, the truth was far less simple. Most of those taking part in the demonstrations lacked any obvious signs of religiosity: rather than bearded men or tribesmen in traditional garb, the bulk of those at the embassy were young men in Western clothes, united, if anything, by their rage.

Vowing to sacrifice themselves for the honor of the Prophet Mohammed, they marched towards the embassy, and, upon arriving at the walls surrounding the compound, apparently had little difficulty overwhelming the troops guarding the building. Scaling walls, they moved to break glass, set cars alight and loot whatever they could, leaving graffiti expressions of “God is Great” and “Death to America” as testaments to their sentiments prior to being pushed out by Yemeni security forces about an hour later.

As word spread of the siege, few were surprised that protests against the video had occurred. But the logistics of the attack on the embassy compound left many Yemenis incredulous. Among the most secure buildings in the capital, the American Embassy bears greater resemblance to a fortress than the sumptuous diplomatic residences of less volatile capitals.

In the context of Yemen’s contentious political scene, it was hard to believe that the breach of the embassy merely represented a security failure.

Although current president Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi formally replaced former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in accordance with an internationally backed power-transfer agreement this February, the former president is a major player behind the scenes, as his relatives control key branches of the Yemeni Armed Forces.

Most of the troops guarding the embassy hailed from the Central Security Forces, a branch of the Yemeni military led by Yahya Mohamed Saleh, a nephew of former president Saleh. And in the wake of Thursday’s events, local observers expressed suspicions that the former president had a hand in the attack, or at least allowed it to happen.

“It’s nearly impossible to imagine that the embassy could be breached with such ease,” said one Yemeni analyst, commenting the evening after the demonstration. “It’s not hard to suspect that something beyond incompetence was involved."

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This article is a few days old, but I couldn't see anything posted here about the Yemen attacks and thought this article provided a good, short deconstruction of the factors at play other than the much touted motive of reaction to a film.
thebirds, que

some insights I suppose

Southern Whites Troubled by Romney's Wealth, Religion

By Margot Roosevelt

LYNCHBURG, Virginia (Reuters) - Sheryl Harris, a voluble 52-year-old with a Virginia drawl, voted twice for George W. Bush. Raised Baptist, she is convinced -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- that President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is Muslim.

So in this year's presidential election, will she support Mitt Romney? Not a chance.

"Romney's going to help the upper class," said Harris, who earns $28,000 a year as activities director of a Lynchburg senior center. "He doesn't know everyday people, except maybe the person who cleans his house."

She'll vote for Obama, she said: "At least he wasn't brought up filthy rich."

White lower- and middle-income voters such as Harris are wild cards in this vituperative presidential campaign. With only a sliver of the electorate in play nationwide, they could be a deciding factor in two southern swing states, Virginia and North Carolina.

Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled over the past several months shows that, across the Bible Belt, 38 percent of these voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is "very wealthy" than one who isn't. This is well above the 20 percent who said they would be less likely to vote for an African-American.

In Lynchburg, many haven't forgotten Romney's casual offer to bet Texas Governor Rick Perry $10,000 or his mention of his wife's "couple of Cadillacs." Virginia airwaves are saturated with Democratic ads hammering Romney's Cayman Islands investments and his refusal to release more than two years of tax returns.

At the Democratic convention last week, Obama mocked the GOP's "tax breaks for millionaires" as "the same prescription they've had for the last 30 years."

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OP: I was going to submit this last week, but I forgot about it when my browser crashed.  I do wonder how the people have changed their minds in light of Mittens' verbal diarrhea.  I didn't know which one to highlight in bold, but I did embolden statements and reactions that were parts insightful and just "WTF?"  Like that truck driver who said being black will get him anything he wants. T_T  I hope they're paying attention to what's happened this week with Mitt and his buddies.  It sounds like a lot of these people who hold conservative values are most likely members of those 47% that apparently don't take personal responsibility.

I have a lot of feelings this week.  Lots and lots of feels and I wish I can turn it into something really slimy and stinky (but environmentally-friendly) to throw it on one of Romney's many cars.  Feel the 47% and all that.
Parks and Rec Leslie and Ben

Veterans’ Jobs Bill Blocked in the Senate

Eager to shoot down President Obama’s legislative agenda just weeks before the election, Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a measure that would have provided $1 billion over five years to help veterans find work in their communities.

The measure, which would have potentially created jobs for up to 20,000 veterans, was blocked on a procedural point by Republicans, who argued that the bill was unpaid for. Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and the bill’s main sponsor, said the bill would have covered the costs in part with fees on Medicare providers and suppliers who are delinquent on their tax bills.

The procedural vote was 58 to 40; 60 votes would have been required to waive Republican objections.

The bill was opposed, by, among others, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who said he believed the bill duplicated existing job programs for veterans that are not well run, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who has been seeking amendments on bills that would cut off funding to Egypt and to Pakistan until Pakistan freed Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the United States find Osama bin Laden.

“It’s both shocking and shameful that Republicans today chose to kill a bill to put America’s veterans back to work,” Ms. Murray said in a statement.

“At a time when one in four young veterans are unemployed,” she said, “Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help these men and women provide for their families.”

She added that the vote was “stark reminder” that Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader from Kentucky, and Senate Republicans “are willing to do absolutely anything to fulfill the pledge he made nearly two years ago to defeat President Obama. It doesn’t matter who gets in their way or which Americans they have to sacrifice in that pursuit, even if it’s our nation’s veterans.”

Some Republicans, five of whom voted for the bill, also seemed disappointed about the failure of legislation that had the veneer of bipartisan support. “These men and women have worn our uniform, shouldered the burden and faced unthinkable dangers in forward areas during a very dangerous time,” Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said.

The vote was met with a strong rebuke from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “Once again, this Congress let partisan bickering stand in the way of putting thousands of America’s heroes back to work,“ said Paul Rieckhoff, the organization’s founder. “Lowering veteran unemployment is something both parties should be able to agree on – even in an election year."

Source is not here for your shenanigans
Heath smoking

Scott Brown starts debate with Warren by race-baiting

Republican US Senator Scott Brown questioned Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren’s claim of Native American heritage in the opening moments of a lively high-stakes television debate tonight.

When moderator Jon Keller asked if character was an issue in the race, Brown answered, “I think character is important. ... Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. And as you can see, she’s not.”

Warren responded that she had learned of her heritage from stories told by her family.

“When I was growing up, these were the stories I knew about my heritage,” she said.

She also said that when her mother and father wanted to get married, her father’s family said no because “my mother was part Delaware and part Cherokee.”

“This is my family, this is who I am, and it’s not going to change,” said Warren.

More at source (Headline changed and article snipped)

Did anyone watch this? I could not believe Brown!



Ann Romney Melts Down and Tells the GOP They are Lucky To Have Mitt

Ann Romney says fellow Republicans who’ve criticized her husband need to “stop it” and realize “how lucky” the party is to have Mitt Romney as its nominee.

Ann Romney spoke late this afternoon to about 200 people, mostly women, who’d gathered for a rally in the store room of a central Iowa furniture business.

“Wow, back in Iowa. Here we are again,” Romney said, to cheers and applause. “However, I don’t want it to be a 10-vote margin again. I want to have a bigger win, so let’s make sure in Iowa we win big in November.”

That’s a reference to the photo-finish on the night of the Iowa Caucuses, when Mitt Romney was declared the victor over Rick Santorum by just 10 votes. Later, a certification process recorded Santorum the winner, by 34 votes, but seven precincts did not submit their certified results.

During her remarks to the crowd this afternoon, Mrs. Romney said it is “really hard for me as a wife” to watch the campaign unfold. Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan recently wrote that it’s “time for an intervention” in the Romney campaign. William Kristol, a conservative who is the editor of The Weekly Standard magazine, used the words “arrogant and stupid” to describe Romney’s comments about the “47 percent” of Americans who won’t vote for him.

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alice and hatter

Limbaugh: Penises now ’10 percent smaller’ and shrinking because of ‘feminazis’

Rush Limbaugh on Thursday lashed out at feminists — who he called “feminazis” — over the news that male genitalia are shrinking.

The conservative radio host pointed to an Italian study which found that the average male penis was 10 percent smaller than 50 years ago. Researchers cited weight gain around the waist, smoking, stress and environmental pollutants as factors.

But Limbaugh wasn’t buying that explanation.

“I think it’s feminism,” he declared. “If it’s tied to the last 50 years — the average size of [a male's] member is 10 percent smaller than 50 years — it has to be the feminazis, the chickification and everything else.”

“Give ‘em time and they’ll blame Bush. But air pollution vs. feminazis? Ha!”

In 2009, Limbaugh worried that the Center for Disease Control was considering a proposal to encourage circumcision for all baby boys.

“If we need to save our penises from anybody, it’s Obama,” he said at the time.

In other possibly unrelated penis news, IO9 reported on Thursday that doctors have been recently struggling with how to treat Koro Syndrome, which is the irrational “fear that the genitals are shrinking, or retracting into the body, and that when they finally do disappear, you will die.”

Listen to this audio from The Rush Limbaugh Show via Media Matters, broadcast Sept. 20, 2012


Heath smoking

Halifax man pepper-sprays teen over gay slurs

A 39-year-old Halifax man says he used pepper spray on a teenager after she harassed his partner for six weeks.

"I actually pepper-sprayed her," said Christopher Whittle. Whittle spoke with the CBC's Elizabeth Chiu because he wants people to know this was not a random act.

The incident happened last Friday, when Halifax Regional Police said a 14-year-old girl was sprayed with an irritant near the parking lot of the Halifax Shopping Centre.

Police released an image of the suspect, and Whittle was arrested hours later.

Whittle said this was not a planned attack. But he said the girl has been taunting his boyfriend who works at the mall for weeks. Whittle said the slurs began when his partner wore beads from gay pride to work.

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I don't advocate violence, but...

Jon Stewart rants about 'Romney campaign headquarters,' aka Fox News

If the Mitt Romney campaign hoped the leaked video of his ill-considered remarks at a May fundraiser would be a one-night story … well, it was mistaken. But Fox News came away with as many woes as the candidate when Jon Stewart was done with his “Daily Show” monologue Wednesday night.

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this is from Wednesday's show (i haven't seen tonight's yet) but I wanted to post this cause he WONDERFULLY goes IN on Fox News. It's kind of amazing. tonight's show with President Clinton is sure to be masterful as well. Jon Stewart is nothing if not amazing during Indecision seasons...(let me admit, i'm more of a centrist, so i pretty much-not always-but mostly agree with what he says)...i think i'll definitely be paying the five bucks though in a week to watch him and O'Reilly go at it online....